Along the eastern shore of the Bay of Bengal, in the Districts of Noakhali (exclud-
ing the island of Sandip, in which Eastern Bengali is sixteen) and Chittagcag, and in
the north of the District of Akyab, the last belonging to the Province of Burmab, a very
peculiar dialect of Bengali is spoken, which I hare named the South-Eastern. Here the
causes which have led to the corruption of Eastern Bengali have proceeded to their
extreme limits, and, especially in Chittagong and Akyab, the difference is so marked that
a native from other parts of Bengal does not readily understand what is said to him. In
Chittagong itself, the dialect is known as * Ohatgaiya,1 but this name is hardly suitable,
as it will be seen that the form of the language extends not only to most of the islands
at the mouth of the Megna, but also to the District of Noakhali, proper, on the mainland!
between Chittagong and Tippera. The only exception is, as already stated! the island of
Sandip. A sub-dialect is spoken by the Chakmas of the Chittagong Bill Tracts, which
will be described later on.
The language is spoken by the following number of people :—•
Name of District
Number of Speakers.
Noakhali . . . «
Chittagong « * • *
Akyab * • • • »
Chittagong Hill Tracts (Ch&kmS)
(1) LATTER, T., Lieut*,—-4. Note on some HOI 3Vties on fhe JLiitadyne Eiver, Arrow*. Journal of the
Asiatic Society of Bengal, VoL XV (1846), pp. 60 and ft On pp. 74. and fi%, there is a
Vocabulary of Chittagong Bengali
(2) PABGITER, F. E., B.A., l.G.S^—Notes on the Ohittagong Dialect. Journal, Asiatic Society of Bengal,
Vol. LV (1886), Part I, pp. 66 and ft Contains a Grammar and Vocabulary.
(3) ANDERSON], J. D. [I.C.S.],—&ww Ohittagong Proverbs, compiled as an example of the Dialect of
the Ohittagong District.—Printed for Private Circulation. Calcutta, Hare Press, 1897.
The following account of South-Eastern Bengali is based on Mr. Pargiter's work
above mentioned, with a few additions derived from other sources :-—
The vowel a is, as elsewhere in Bengal, pronounced like the 6 in hot. It retains
this sound even at the end of words, where, in standard Bengali, it would be pronounced
like the o in port. Thus *r&, thou art, is pronounced dso, not dso. There is a tendency
to substitute this vowel for others. Thus kaifiyat, a remark, is pronounced Jcofiot, and
* Figure* taken from iht Ceaaat Report.